Memorandum for the Files1

  • Subject:
  • Decisions reached by Panel of Consultants on Disarmament in private meeting Tuesday, May 6.
[Page 925]

1. By general acknowledgment Dr. Oppenheimer became Chairman of the Panel.

2. It is decided that the next meeting of the Panel should take place in Princeton, May 16, 17, and 18, and that only members of the Panel would be present in addition to its Executive Secretary.2

3. It was decided to seek the services of Mr. McGeorge Bundy as permanent Executive Secretary of the Panel and that arrangements should be made for the necessary administrative action to permit him to be present at the May 16 meeting.

4. Panel decided to broaden its terms of reference in order to address itself at least initially to the question of whether there is any place for any serious work in the field of disarmament in promoting the security of the U.S.; in other words, whether there is any relationship between serious disarmament work and U.S. security. It is to this set of problems that the Panel will address itself at its next meeting. It may well be, in the view of Dr. Oppenheimer, assented to by the Panel, that this inquiry will produce a negative answer.

Dr. Oppenheimer indicated that he would try to have for the panel a paper setting forth his views on some of the basic considerations bearing on this question. He felt it essential in order for the Panel to discuss what it had in mind that full “Q” clearances be obtained for all members in advance of the meeting.

5. It was Dr. Oppenheimer’s view, assented to by the other members, that there is no way in which the existing State and Defense Departments’ staffs working on the problem of disarmament can or should be geared to the work of the Panel at this stage. The Panel is not in a position to give any specific guidance to these staffs and there is no way in which the staffs can be of assistance to the Panel in preparation for its forthcoming meetings.

6. At Dr. Oppenheimer’s suggestions the following preparations should be made for the next meeting:

Mr. Dulles will provide an account of the present efforts to revise NSC–68 and NSC–114.3 Mr. Dulles will investigate with Messrs. Ray Allen and Tracy Barnes of the Psychological Strategy Board any current thinking of the Board that will bear upon any problem before the Panel.
Dr. Oppenheimer and Mr. Allen will get in touch with the State Department’s Planning Staff to see whether the Panel might [Page 926] obtain in writing or orally further thinking of the Staff on the relationship of disarmament work to major political problems.
The State Department will endeavor to supply any information on U.K. or French thinking on the basic questions and, if possible, a paper identifying the elements in the present situations which are different from the situations in which disarmament has been discussed in the past.
Dr. Oppenheimer will request Mr. Bundy to provide the Panel with information concerning the research being undertaken in Cambridge under the direction of Dr. Max Millikan.4

  1. Drafting officer is not identified on the source text.
  2. Informal minutes of the May 16–18 meeting are in Disarmament files, lot 58 D 133, “Panel of Consultants.”
  3. For text of NSC 68, “U.S. Objectives and Programs for National Security”, Apr. 14, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. i, p. 234. For documentation on the NSC 114 Series, dealing with national security programs, see ibid., 1951, vol. i, pp. 1 ff. For documentation on overall national security policy during the 1952–1954 period, see pp. 1 ff.
  4. Director of the Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.